Messy Harvest


             Messy Harvest
        from St Bart's



Hello everyone!

Vicar David and the ministry team here. We're celebrating Harvest in church this weekend. Harvest is a time to say a big 'thank you' to God for all we have to eat and drink... and also perhaps a big 'sorry' for not having shared it very well both in this country and across the world.

While we can't get together to do "Messy" things as we planned, why not think about Harvest at home?

There's lots of ideas of things you might do for fun, including puzzles, colouring sheets and crafts here

Harvest Thanksgiving is an opportunity to thank God for the crops and the fruit of the ground, upon which, despite all our clever technological advances, we are still dependent. It's a big thank-you for the food we can eat and for its variety.

There is a story about an old lady who was very poor. She had nothing. No shelter, no food, no proper clothes. She prayed to God and God gave her 10 apples. This was wonderful. ‘Now I can get the things I need,’ she said. She was so hungry of course that she ate the first three apples and so was full. The next three apples she exchanged so she could rent some modest shelter so that she could be safe from the rain and the sun. She exchanged the next three apples for some new clothes, so she was no longer cold at night and would look smart during the day. But there was then one apple left over. ‘Why did you give me one apple more than I needed?’ she asked God. ‘So you can have something with which to say thank-you to me,’ replied God. God gives us enough to say thank-you.

Here are some more ideas to try:

Make a place mat to use at meal times:
We have a daily opportunity to thank God for our food, some households will say a thank you prayer together before some or all meals, some may struggle in amongst the busyness of life. This activity gives you an opportunity to create your own reminder to say ‘thank you’ to God for your food. You will need:
± A piece of A4 or A3 paper/card.
± colouring materials and/or cut out pictures of food from magazines. Decorate your page with pictures of food and drink.
± Write - or get someone to write for you - on your picture ‘Thank you God for my food’ 
± Ask someone to laminate the page and use it as a placemat and a daily reminder to thank God for our food.

Fruit/Vegetable/Tractor tyre printing:
Prepare to get messy! Cover the area you are using with plenty of protective plastic. Have a range of different coloured paint available on plates. Have a selection of fruit and vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, leek, sweetcorn, apples, peppers available. You may like to ask an adult to cut some of them in half or cut shapes such as crosses, hearts and stars into the vegetables such as the potatoes. Toy tractor tyres also provide great printing marks. Have large strips of paper available. Cover the paper in different fruit and vegetable prints.
You will need to wear aprons or old shirts to save getting non-washable paint on your clothing! 

A story Jesus told about a farmer:

While Jesus was with his disciples and went around teaching to all the crowds who came to hear him, He often spoke in parables.  A parable isn't a true story, it's a story that Jesus made up to teach a lesson.

Have you ever heard of the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears?  How about the Three Little Pigs?  These stories are easy to remember, just like a parable.  Jesus told them so the people would remember them.

The difference between children's stories and parables is that children's stories are make believe, bears don't talk and live in houses, and neither do pigs.  But while the stories Jesus told weren't real stories, they were about real life things.  They were for adults and didn't have cartoons or make believe characters.

You can learn these stories too.  They show us how to act towards others, how to please God, and they teach us things about what Heaven is like and how we can live with him someday.

After Jesus told a parable he would explain what it meant, but he only told people that were his real friends and really wanted to know him better.

An example of a longer parable is the one about the farmer, it goes something like this:

Jesus had gone out and sat by the lake by himself.  Soon such large crowds gathered around Him that He got into a boat near the shore and people stood on the land to hear him.  Then he began telling them parables:

A farmer went out to plant his garden.  As he was throwing the seed on the ground some fell on the hard path nearby and the birds came and ate them.

The next seeds fell near some rocks the farmer had in a pile nearby.  There was not much dirt around the rocks so the seeds started to sprout and grow the next day.  When seeds aren't planted in the dirt they don't grow roots which help them stay strong and wet, which help them grow properly.

So in the afternoon when the sun was very hot the little plants that started to grow among the rocks withered away and died because they had no root in the ground.

As the farmer continued to throw seeds onto the ground some of the seeds fell among the weeds and thorns that he hadn't pulled out.  The thorns grew faster and taller then the seeds, so the seeds couldn't get enough sunlight and were choked out by the thorns.

Finally, some seed fell on the good soil that the farmer had worked and dug holes for the seed to go into.  Those seeds made plants and those plants produced lots and lots of vegetables.

After Jesus told the parable the disciples asked what it meant.  He knew that they would really listen and wanted to get to know him better so He told them what it meant.  It goes something like this:

Just like when you're listening to your Sunday School teacher, your parents or one of the Church leaders.  They are trying to tell you more about God and about how to get to Heaven someday.  When they talk to you about these things they are planting a pretend seed in your mind.  The seed is a story about Jesus and as you learn more the seed grows and gets bigger and you eventually will know lots about God and be able to tell others about Him.

If you hear them talking about Jesus but don't understand, you need to ask questions.  If you don't ask, you will forget what you learned and it will be like the seeds that fell on the path that were eaten by the birds.  You will forget and the seed will be gone from your mind and it won't grow.

Sometimes you might learn something about God and you will be excited about it but you don't learn more.  It helps to read Bible stories and pray and go to church if you can.  If you don't do any of these things you won't have a good friendship with God.

So if you don't learn more about God the pretend seed in your mind won't grow and it will be like the seed that fell on the rocks.  It grew only for a short time and then it died.

The next seed is the one that was choked out by the thorns.  This can happen when you hear a lesson about God and then you start to worry about all kinds of things.  You might worry about your parents, your friends, or if you have all the coolest stuff.  By worrying you will choke out the pretend seed in your mind.  Pray to God instead of worrying!

The last seed is the best, it fell on the good ground.  If you learn from what you hear in Sunday School and church, the seed in you mind will grow.  You will be able to tell others about how great God is and God will be a good friend.  Instead of growing a garden, you will be helping others know God and making Heaven grow with more people to live there.

A Harvest Prayer:

Dear God,
Thank you for wonderful fruits and vegetables.
Thank you for the farmers who grow our food.
Thank you for the lovely golden leaves that fall off the trees.
Thank you for Harvest.
Thank you God for everything.